Learning for life: Managing back pain

Life Long Learning and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) are the
processes by which professionals, such as nurses, develop and improve their

There are many ways to address CPD: formally, through attending courses,
study days and workshops; or informally, through private study and reflection.
Reading articles in professional journals is a good way of keeping up-to-date
with what is going on in the field of practice, but reflecting and identifying
what you have learnt is not always easy. These questions are designed to help
you to identify what you have learnt from studying the article. They will also
help you to clarify what you can apply to practice, what you did not understand
and what you need to explore further.

1 What percentage of the population are affected by back pain?

a) 25 per cent
b) 30 per cent
c) 40 per cent
d) 50 per cent

2 For people with low back pain in activity, bed rest

a) is essential
b) should be avoided at all costs
c) undertaken for at least two weeks
d) increases the chance of disability

3 When developing measures to combat back pain OH professionals should
work in consultation with:

a) employers, trade unions and the NHS
b) employers, employees and trade unions
c) employees, trade unions and the NHS
d) employers, employees and the NHS

4 Active rehabilitation should be encouraged from what period of time
from the start of the episode of back pain?

a) within one week
b) within one month
c) within three months
d) within one year

5 The clinical guidelines for the management of acute back pain include
advice on:

a) placement, rehabilitation and prevention
b) rehabilitation, treatment, and placement
c) rehabilitation, treatment and prevention
d) treatment, placement and prevention

6 Strong evidence is weighted as:

a) generally consistent findings in multiple, high-quality scientific studies

b) generally consistent findings in few, high-quality scientific studies
c) generally consistent findings in fewer, smaller or lower quality scientific
d) generally consistent findings in multiple scientific studies

7 When presenting with prolonged or severe symptoms who are more at risk
of long-term disability? Patients aged:

a) >40 years
b) >45 years
c) >50 years
d) >55 years

8 Which of the following is NOT a Psychosocial Yellow Flag?

a) a belief that back pain is harmful or potentially severely disabling
b) a belief that they can manage their own pain and overcome disability
c) fear avoidance behaviour and reduced activity levels
d) expectation of passive treatments

9 Which of the following is NOT part of an active rehabilitation

a) education
b) exercise
c) respite from work
d) pain management

10 The clinical guidelines for the management of acute back pain are evidence-based.
The evidence and recommendations concentrate on:

a) interventions and outcomes
b) process and outcomes
c) interventions and process
d) structure and outcomes


1c, 2d, 3b, 4b 5a, 6a, 7c, 8b, 9c,10a 

Most nurses base their practice on evidence produced by research, so says
Professor Hugh McKenna, John Cutcliffe and Patricia McKenna in their article
"Evidence-based Practice: Demolishing Some Myths" (Nursing Standard,
5 Jan Vol 14 No 16 2000 p39-42). This article is worth reading in order to gain
some balance to the arguments on evidence-based practice.

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